I’m sure you all know the fantastic news that the Mixed Relays have been officially included in the Programme for the Olympic Games, starting already in Tokyo 2020. I really wanted to thank you all for the great efforts you all put into this. I always say that there is no ‘i’ in team, and the triathlon family showed the whole world that we are now more than ever a team, and our teams will also be present in Tokyo and all future Olympic Games, as they already are in the Commonwealth Games, Youth Olympic Games, Asian Games, Mediterranean Games and PanAmerican Games.
This has been a great and long journey. We first thought of including the Mixed Relays in the Olympics almost 15 years ago, and right after the London 2012 Games we started working with the IOC in order to get a third event included in the Olympics. This couldn’t happen in Rio due to external conditions, but it was finally a dream come true this past week.
What makes it more special is that the inclusion is not only the result of the push and commitment of the whole ITU management team, but also for all our stakeholders. It was the athletes launching the support campaign as well as the athletes announcing that we are in. They are our most valuable stakeholders, and they are, as they have always been, at the very heart of all of our decisions. I am extremely satisfied that thanks to all our efforts, they will now have now the opportunity to earn another gold Olympic medal.
I also want to thank all the staff who has tirelessly worked on this project. So many hours, so many meetings, so many ideas, so many documents, videos and publications were made with so many people involved with them, that I wanted to extend my gratitude to the whole team. We were widely recognised as a young IF that is always looking to the future, and the sky is the limit. We thought big, and we succeeded. Now it’s time to enjoy the moment and then we will get on with developing this event so we can offer the world one of the most thrilling events in Tokyo 2020, as I’m sure our three triathlon events will be.
I don’t want to finish without thanking all the National Federations who were fully supportive of our project, yours is also this triumph and you will be the ones offering your athletes the possibility of more Olympic glory. It’s now your time to push to have the best possible teams in all Mixed Relays events.
And for all stakeholders, organisers and cities involved in Mixed relays events, you will have even more chances of hosting and taking part in those very special races. We said it from the very beginning – the athletes want it; National Federations applaud it; and fans demand it. With unpredictable drama and the display of team pride, the Triathlon Mixed Team Relay format is triathlon racing at its most thrilling. It is also a great chance to show the world what we are made of – we are a federation who strongly believe in gender balance and we showcase it at every single event.
With all my heart, thank you again for all your contribution to this dream of having even more triathlon at the Olympics!